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  • Writer's pictureGoran Yerkovich

Interview with Debbie Chan, Daughter of a Forgotten Canadian Olympic Legend - Chun Hon Chan

Updated: Oct 31, 2022


Image: Chun Hon Chan - Listen to the episode now at The Authentic You Podcast:



"Sound Mind. Sound Body." This was the late Chun Hon Chan. A Chinese Canadian immigrant who arrived in Canada at the age of 19, taking whatever jobs he could, from cleaning bathrooms in a restaurant he'd eventually own one of his own, getting married, and raising a family in the process, and then one day, becoming an unlikely but fully deserving competitor in the Olympics, representing Canada in the 1968 & 1972 Summer Olympics. Chan set five Canadian weightlifting records, breaking stereotypes and all the barriers placed in his way.


This is my interview with his daughter, Debbie Chan, who shines bright in her family's tribute to her late father. Chun Hon Chan is a Canadian who hasn't been recognized yet, but he was the FIRST Chinese-Canadian to represent Canada in the Olympics in mens weightlifting, and this podcast is all about bringing to light a piece of Canadian history that must not be forgotten.


Because this is not just a Montreal story about loving life and living it to the fullest. It's a Canadian story in being welcomed into a nation, a sport, and community without racial biased. It is a fathers story, a family's story, and also an underdog story in unwavering determination, despite all odds.


But ultimately this is a human story which proves, the improbable is possible. This is a story about setting big audacious goals, staying true to yourself, and finding a way to shine.



Listen to the episode now at The Authentic You Podcast:




Description of Photos:

Competition photo from the 1990s

Collection of photos from 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games

Photo in front of the majority of his trophies and medals

The official Canadian uniform of the 1967 Winnipeg Pan Am games




Chun Hon Chan Achievements:

1. He went to the Olympics 2 times 1968 & 1972

2. World Championships 3 times: 1965, 1969, 1973 placing as high as 6th

3. Commonwealth Games 3 times: 1962, 1966, 1970, winning Bronze once

4. Pan American Games 3 times: 1963, 1967, 1971, winning bronze in 1971 and setting a record in the snatch

5. Canadian Championships 28 times, 18 of them gold. He held the Canadian record 6. for 13 consecutive years. In 1995, my father and brother both competed in the Canadian Senior Championship.

7. World Masters Championships, 1987, 1988, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2001, placing first 5 times.

8. Inducted into the Pan Am Masters Weightlifting Hall of Fame in 2002.



Additional Links of Chun Hon Chan:



Listen to the episode now:





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